Finance

Restructuring the landing of furnished apartment rental companies, laying off 110 employees

Restructuring the landing of furnished apartment rental companies, laying off 110 employees

Apartment rental startup Landing to employees said today it is restructuring and laying off 110 employees.

In a note to employees, share it with them Forbesfounder and CEO Bill Smith said that as the company has progressed, it has increasingly moved to a “field-based operating model” that requires more people in the field and fewer at its headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama.

Over the past month, he wrote, “Nearly 70 of our current team members have accepted new roles in field operations and have moved across the country to live and work in the communities we serve.” Meanwhile, as part of the restructuring, the company has “reduced a number of roles in Landing, mostly in our Central Operations team,” he wrote. Smith said Forbes Via email that 110 people were laid off. On the Landing job board, a number of jobs listed – for home quality specialists and customer service representatives – show Mexico City locations.

Smith said Landing’s revenue forecast for this year — $200 million, up from $83 million last year — has not changed.

Smith, 36, who dropped out of high school in Birmingham, Alabama, had made a fortune through his previous job, online grocery delivery service Shipt, which he sold to Target.
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For $550 million in 2018. He founded Landing to appeal to people who want the flexibility to live in different places — and get around easily. It offered its members (who pay $199 annually) quick access to ready-to-move-in apartments with the flexibility to rent for just one month.

Landing, which we describe as part of this year’s list of upcoming $1 billion startups, raised $237 million in venture funding from Foundry Group, Greycroft, and others at a recent valuation of $475 million.

But as the rise and fall of WeWork has shown, there is huge potential in new models of real estate — and huge risks. What cities will have demand and potential profitability? How can he reduce installation costs? Adjust pricing and marketing for seasonality? Smith, who owns roughly a third of Landing, has been solving such complexities with data — and plenty of it. “I get bored really easily,” he said. Forbes in July. “I am drawn to solving these complex problems.”

In a memo to employees, Smith wrote that the company initially built a centralized team, then moved to field strategy after realizing it wasn’t going to expand.

In late August, Casey Woo, who was Landing’s chief financial officer, left the company. In an email last month, Wu, who previously worked at WeWork, described his departure as “reciprocal and very friendly.”

Competition is growing in the short-term rental space from companies that include New York City-based Blueground and San Francisco’s Zeus Living, as well as Airbnb and hotels that have pushed into longer-stay options.

Landing’s restructuring and layoffs come as several tech startups, including Bolt, Carvana and Klarna, have laid off workers this year.

This story is developing and will be updated

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